McDonald's new chicken wings don't fly

Mighty Wings may be big, but they're not very good.

By Minyanville.com Jan 16, 2013 2:28PM
A sign outside the fast-food chain McDonaldBy Brett Chase

Minyanville asked me to take off my health care hat temporarily for an important assignment: Review McDonald's (MCD) new chicken wings, which are being tested in Chicago.

I figure that I'm uniquely qualified to review this product for a couple of reasons. I live in Chicago and, like many of my football-loving brothers, I can't resist good chicken wings.

McDonald's Mighty Wings were just promoted in Atlanta and are now being sold on a trial basis in almost 500 Chicago-area restaurants. 

I did a little homework prior to my restaurant trip, which unfortunately reminded me that a woman in Virginia found a fried chicken head in her food order when McDonald's previously tested wings on the menu in late 2000. The hideous discovery was dubbed Chicken McNoggin. But since I'm a pro, I shook off that picture of the head and set out to do my job.

Lucky for me, I found the wings at the first McDonald's I visited. There was even a two-wing sampler available for a $1. I bought two. Normally, the wings are sold in orders of three, five and 10 starting at about $3. (Three is more than enough.) "Are they good?" I asked the young woman at the drive-through. "They're amazing," she assured me. Just then, that chicken head seemed like a distant memory.

I have a simple rule of thumb for eating bad food. If it's going to shave years off my life, it should at least taste good. And how can chicken wings not taste good?

Now these Mighty Wings are not Buffalo style. They're deep-fried and, as the name implies, they're not small. They're actually quite big. As I said, three will fill you up -- maybe even sedate you for a couple of hours. The wings are also very greasy and messy. I can't imagine this would be a good thing for regular lunch. You can choose a sauce to go with the wings (which includes Buffalo) but I don't see that the condiments add much more than additional calories, salt, and sugar. I chose a ranch (the default sauce) and hot mustard (which was sweet). These are the same sauces they offer for McNuggets.  

The chicken itself was pretty disappointing. The box the wings come in says "crispy with a spicy kick of flavor." The box also says "big, crispy, spicy, meaty, juicy, bone-in chicken." The wings are crispy but I can't say they live up to the rest of the billing. To me, that tantalizing description sounds like tasty Korean-style chicken wings (the kind worth shaving years off your life). No dice. The McDonald's wings remind me of the chicken that used to come in TV dinners. The spice is pretty tame.

Let's just say McDonald's isn't about to dethrone Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Yum Brands' (YUM) KFC, or even Domino's Pizza (DPZ) for decent wings.

There was no nutritional information on the wings' box and the company's website only carries that kind of detail on regular menu items. A McDonald's spokeswoman told me she couldn't divulge that information. What do I care? I took my health care hat off when I pulled up to the drive-through.

McDonald's is going to be testing the wings in Chicago through early March, or at least until another chicken head is found.

More from Minyanville



Tags: DPZMCDYUM
38Comments
Jan 16, 2013 4:41PM
Jan 16, 2013 4:31PM
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I just had them and thought that they were surprisingly GOOD. I hope this reviewer seriously doesn't think wings are or will ever be a health food item...
Jan 16, 2013 4:28PM
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I get the runs just thinking about fast food.

Good luck kids.

Jan 16, 2013 4:22PM
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I tried the mighty wings, several times, when they were in the Atlanta area.  I found them to be crispy,  had hardly any oil, and had enough spice to clear my sinuses.  I would go to McDonalds just for the wings and was very disappointed when they stopped serving them.  Maybe they were better in the South, where everyone knows, Southerners know how to fry chicken.
Jan 16, 2013 4:21PM
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I am done eating at McD's period. When I found out that they support and give to charities that support gay marriage, I made my decision. I vote with my dollar, and my dollar is going to Chic-Fil-A, and Wendy's. Companies that stand for values, and don't cave in to social pressure just because the "Pursuit Of Happiness" has gotten way out of hand.
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You couldn't pay me to eat McDonalds food.  The only thing worth getting from that place is their Diet Coke--somehow they manage to have perfected their syrup to water ratios.  Just wish the food was half as good.
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Thank you Brett.  No I will not ever McD's food.  I'll stick with my Thai curries.

 

McD, do not try to imitate Thai curry, that would be an abomination.

Jan 16, 2013 4:08PM
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Mighty wings were around in the late '80s, early '90s when I worked for McDs.
Jan 16, 2013 3:57PM
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Isn't it questionable, at least, why anyone in their right mind would eat anything that has the potential to "shave years off of their lives" ? and yet we seem to be OK with that.

Jan 16, 2013 3:52PM
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They need to make a new fish sandwich....forget the wings. Their fish sandwich hasn't changed in decades. You get too much tartar sauce and it's square...come on McDonald's you can do much better than that.
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